Saturday, February 17, 2007

No Sweat...

Yesterday, I had what I consider to be an extraordinary opportunity and I just couldn't pass it up. One of the nation's top riders needed a short homestay and some logistical help for his visit to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Seeing as I live only a few miles away (less than 7 actually), and since I've always been curious as to what goes on there, I enthusiastically volunteered to help.

Just like the commercials of Chris Leigh suggest, this place really is a laboratory. And, for a geek like me (with a background in laboratory devices), it was almost better than picking out toys for Christmas. Almost.

The purpose of the visit was fairly straightforward. All involved just wanted to double-check the nutrition needs of the rider during simulated racing conditions. So, after a short tour and the mandatory bodily functions checks, they locked us all in a very warm, high humidity room, put the bike on the Computrainer (they have many of those around the facility) and let the rider "race" in rather hostile conditions while the lab techs took measurements and gathered samples. The large overhead projector proved entertaining for the rider.

I will add that some of the devices in this particular room looked a bit frightening (and feel free to choose from an exciting menu of choices for probes).

Anyway, in the end, this all reminded me of something that we all easily forget. Whether or not you are lucky enough to get into GSSI for testing, endurance athletes do need to frequently work on their nutrition plans.

Friday, February 09, 2007

WKO+ on Vista

So, the early adopters have found out quickly that Microsoft has changed things around with their newest operating system. We're receiving lots of questions from people wanting to know if WKO+ runs on Vista. The short answer, YES! But, you'll need to take an additional step during installation until we change things around.

And, before anyone asks. Yes, we'll be changing things around shortly and moving the location of your .wko files.

Basically, Vista no longer allows programs to store their data inside the C:\Program Files subdirectory. Of course, WKO+ still does this and so, you'll need to grant it access to its files. The workaround (<cough>hack</cough>) is simple enough. You'll simply need to grant the USERS group read/write/create/delete/execute privileges for the C:\Program Files\CyclingPeaks WKO+\ subdirectory. Now, even if you are running with Admin privileges, you'll still need to take this step. Alternatively, you could simply run the PeaksWKO.exe as an Administrator - but even I won't suggest that. Anyway, here's a quick shot showing how to make the configuration change.

And, just to prove that WKO+ does in fact run under Vista .... (the quality of the image on your own screen if you have a high resolution widescreen monitor is pretty sweet) ... sorry, these images a dummied down just to save on a little bandwidth.

Device Agent for OS X

Well, we've been busy lately. Shortly, we'll be releasing a new application for subscribers called "Device Agent". Sure to catch some attention is the fact that DA will be released for both Windows and OS X operating systems. Here's a screen shot just to prove that it does in fact exist.

For those seeking technical information, I'll give you this:

- It is a Universal Binary which means that it should run on either Intel or PPC processors.

-It is designed to run on OS X 10.4 and newer.

-At first, we'll only support the Ergomo Pro, SRM PCV and complete model range of PowerTaps (including the Pro300 PT spin bike). Additional devices will be added in the future.

- To connect an Ergomo or SRM or a PowerTap (using a serial cradle), you'll most likely need a USB/Serial converter cable. While all three have their own solutions, I've found it most painless to simply use a third party cable from Prolific or Keyspan. Just be sure to install the driver software for the cable of your choosing and all will be fine.

- To connect a PowerTap (or the Pro300 PT) using the USB cradle, you'll need to contact CycleOps and install their driver (if you haven't done so already).

At this point, we are about to begin a short testing phase for the products. During this period, we'll also be adding support to WKO+ so that all of this information can be easily brought in for further analysis.